The most important part of your mobile strategy — actually your whole business strategy — is to enter a mobile state of mind.
For many of us, our mobile devices are the first things we touch in the morning and the last things we check before bed. They’re the definition of personalized accessories — no longer just a technical tool, but an extension of ourselves. Almost unsurprisingly, many U.S. adults now consider their mobile phones more important than sex, according to an article by statista.
With global smartphone usage on pace to reach 10 times the current numbers by 2019, businesses must start streamlining their processes through mobile now; otherwise, they risk lagging behind on the biggest boost in productivity, even more so than the advent of the Internet.
Mobile Is Key to Productivity
There’s an underlying issue in how we address the problem. For decades, systems have been advanced for the system owners. Human resources optimizes the HR system, sales operations optimizes the customer relationship management system, and the list goes on. Employees actually want to be productive, but with this approach and archaic technology practices, we simply limit our employees’ ability to be productive.
It’s time to address this and make people the focus. With the personalization available now through mobile, it’s finally possible to optimize our systems for the users — not the system owners — and the mobile devices our people love so much. With this, we can free employees from wasting unnecessary time doing basic administrative activities in multiple applications (such as purchase orders, leave requests, and expense approvals) and allow them more time to accomplish their core jobs.
If you put your people at the center of your mobile strategy, you aren’t just streamlining basic workflow tasks; you’re actually increasing productivity across the entire organization through:
- Meaningful information. Mobile provides specific information to specific employees immediately and effectively. Wouldn’t it be great if an aisle manager in a retail store could pull out a mobile device and find local pricing for relevant products? With today’s mobile technology, he or she can.
- Engaging communications. Internal communications at most businesses suffer from sluggish response times. Think about it. After you send an email, you have to wait for the other person to sit down, open an email application, read a message, and respond. Sometimes, a simple response can take hours or even days. Mobile allows fluid, real-time communication to maximize engagement and reduce unnecessary waiting.
- Efficient transactions. Whether you make pasta, develop software, or teach third grade, you probably face a stream of time-consuming tasks like requests, approvals, confirmations, etc., on a daily basis. In the past, employees had to keep track of everything in the field; then, they had to set aside time to take care of the administrative stuff once they returned to their offices. With mobile, they can respond on the spot and make smart decisions, then get back to real work with minimal interruption.
- Actionable insights. In a fast-paced business environment, data and metrics drive more decisions than ever before. For example, a sales representative might require a lot of preparation before meeting a prospect. With mobile, all of the insights needed — such as purchasing history, any outstanding invoices, known issues, or other opportunities — are provided to the rep at her fingertips first thing in the morning. This means she has all the ingredients to make it a successful day.
A Mobile State of Mind
This is just a glimpse into the possibilities we’re about to experience with mobile technology. Nothing — absolutely nothing — will be the same once we’ve completed the transition to a mobile world. But to succeed, we need to remember that the goal is to make work better than before, not mobilize existing processes and remain stagnant. The most important part of your mobile strategy — actually your whole business strategy — is to enter a mobile state of mind.
Mobile technology should improve work life, not simply shrink the experience to a smaller screen. When you open your mobile device in the morning, you should see the components of what’s going to make your day a success. This could be your first meeting, today’s forecast, or a suggestion to call an employee who’s at risk to resign soon. Everything should be personalized and aligned with your work context.
It took us years to fully realize the power of the Internet. Mobile won’t take that long, and if you’re not addressing it now, your competitors will. Mobile isn’t another “tech” thing that your IT team needs to address; it should be your No. 1 priority. Mobile technology isn’t simply a new option — it’s the next step in the progression of reaching productivity for your business.